Sunday, January 14, 2018

Kicking Horse Smart Ass Cold Brew

Finally an "energy drink" you can get in Canada! I found this can, and other Kicking Horse cold brews, at the local Independent City Mart (owned by the LobLaws company). I should point out that if you cannot find these cold brews, try looking for the Kicking Horse Smart Ass coffee and make your own. The coffee beans used for this cold brew are widely available, including at places like WalMart.


The aroma is sweet with subtle notes of spices and chocolate. The flavor is layered and amazing. It starts off light and a touch sweet, but very quickly subtle notes of cinnamon and nutmeg emerge, which are followed by intense flavors of chocolate and finally, very bright coffee. The profile starts light but within seconds transitions to a more intense one, leaving lots of lingering coffee and chocolate finishing notes. Excellent!


The can does not say how much caffeine is in the can, but I would guess that it is a bit more than a cup of coffee since cold brews tend to have a bit more caffeine. I got a very nice buzz going for a couple of hours without any jitters or the urge to run in circles. The energy was very well controlled and it did not interfere with any mental tasks I was performing.

Cost - $3.99
Taste - 10/10
Energy - 7/10

Overall - 17/20...perhaps the best tasting cold brew I have had

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Monster Energy Ultra Violet

Finally, a new energy drink in Ontario! I got this Monster Ultra Violet from the local Mac's during their "new Monster" promotion for $2.


This Monster has a light purple color that reminds me a lot of Gatorade Rain, or one of their other lines where the colors are a little lighter/diluted. The small is very unique with notes of concord grapes and berries. The taste is very interesting blend of the aroma and its looks. The taste starts off with sweet candy-like flavor that resembles those mystery berry gummies you can get anywhere, but then transitions to a cleaner, purple/blue Gatorade-like flavor before trailing off into the distance and leaving lingering some mystery berry notes. Also, the aftertaste sweetness starts building up quickly after a few sips.

A wild ride, this one is. I really loved some parts and I thought others were a bit too sweet. In any case, I always enjoy trying a new Monster.


Monster energy drinks in Canada are not very exciting and this one is not different with its 140 mg of caffeine. And believe it or not, but at 140 mg of caffeine per 473 mL can, this Monster has a lower concentration of caffeine per mL than Red Bull!!!! This one clocks at just below 0.30 mg/mL, while a small can of Red Bull sits at 0.32mg/mL.

Besides the surprise twist in concentration, the effects are very similar to the other Monster Ultras, except the kick doesn't last just as long. But I still got a nice couple of hours out of it.

Cost - $2 during promotion
Taste - 8/10
Energy - 7.5/10

Overall - 15.5/20...unique, but sweet

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pepsi 1893 Original Cola Review

I found this at a Target on a recent trip south of the border. As of this moment, this is not sold in Canada.

So what makes 1893 such a different Pepsi? Well, it is made with real sugar, kola nut and some kind of like the hipster colas you can buy.

But hipster jokes aside, this Pepsi has a hell of a flavor! From the get go you are bombarded by various spices, including a generous helping of cinnamon and some coffee. A similar level of sweetness is present, but with the 1893, it is much rounder and doesn't stick to the inside of the mouth. The aftertaste is rather pleasant too with hints of spices and a touch of candy-like sweetness.

Definitely go for this one over the regular one if you had the option...unless you really, really like the regular one, or you are not a fan of cinnamon.

Taste - 9/10

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Mountain Dew Spiked Lemonade

I bought this from a Target when travelling to Michigan for a couple of dollars. This is not sold in Canada...yet I want to say but who knows.


Well, it smells like a lemonade and tastes like one mixed with a tiny bit of Mountain Dew. That is the short description, but to be a bit more detailed, I need to note that the lemon part tastes like a real lemon towards the end of each sip. I don't know if Mountain Dew has almost found the perfect substitute, or if there is real lemon juice, but for a few moments it feels like you are sucking on a sugar-coated lemon which I found pleasing. The aftertaste is also very refreshing and pleasant.

This is a very well executed lemonade. Not sure about the prickly pear cactus juice, though. I have never had it on its own so not sure what flavor to look for. But to be honest, the tart lemonade overpowers all other flavors.


There are 72 mg of caffeine in this can and the effects are very similar to a small can of Red Bull, except for the ever so slightly reduced jitters. Or maybe that was because I took my time consuming this 473 mL can.

Cost - $1.99
Taste - 8.8/10
Energy - 5.9/10

Overall - 14.7/20...very tasty lemonade

Sunday, November 19, 2017

La Colombe Draft Latte Vanilla

This is the second of my La Colombe flavors and damn does it pour with a stunning color and consistency!


On the nose, this latte is very sweet and the vanilla notes come through with ease. The moderately sweet start lends itself to the bitterness of coffee within moments...but I like it. The coffee flavor is bold without feeling burnt or overpowering as it still allows the vanilla to lurk underneath it. The finish is like a freshly made latte with notes of coffee, some sour milk and a touch of vanilla. Also, there isn't much of a sugary build up.


There are 110 mg of caffeine in the can and they are delivered better than an equivalent sugary drink. The 16 grams of sugar are enough to give you a quick boost at the start until the caffeine gets absorbed. There are no jitters and the energy is clean for about one and a half hours. Also, there is no crash at the end.

Cost - $2.79
Taste - 8.8/10
Energy - 7/10

Overall - 15.8/20...nice subtle twist

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Rockstar Blackout Review

I got this Rockstar Blackout from a Target when I was visiting the US. Unfortunately this is not sold in Canada.


This smells and looks like a regular Rockstar and it tastes almost like one too. I found this one to be a bit creamier with a rounder, candy-like sweetness profile. The finish also has a sour twist giving the aftertaste some crispness.


There are 160 mg of caffeine making this a fairly standard energy drink in every way. I got a sugary buzz/jitters within 10-15 minutes of drinking it and within another 20 or so minutes I was wired and ready to run around. The buzz lasted for just over 2 hours and I did not experience a crash because I did have plenty of sleep and consumed this first thing in the morning.

Cost - $2.89
Taste - 7.5/10
Energy - 8.8/10

Overall - 16.3/20...pretty average, maybe a touch better than the regular Rockstar

Monday, October 9, 2017

28 Black Acai Energy Drink

Guys! I found the Acai version of the 28 Black energy drink I tried a few months ago. Big whoop. But OK, I am a tiny bit excited to try it.


This red-colored energy drink smells soooo good. It is like berry candy with a tart acai twist. It tastes like it too!!! Well, only at the end. The start is a little wobbly from all the carbonation as your tongue is assaulted, but the acai notes are the first thing to hit your tongue once the bubbles disappear. They are intense and a little tart, but get progressively sweeter to reach the candy-like end I mentioned.

Beneath the acai berries lurks the base of the regular 28 Black energy drink, which is 75% Red Bull, but more rounder and creamier. The acai is a great complimentary flavor that makes the overall taste stand out as more unique than other energy drinks.


There are 80 mg of caffeine and the effects are the same as a can of Red Bull and the 28 Black energy drink you can read about here.

Cost - $2.49
Taste - 9.5/10
Energy - 6/10

Overall - 15.5/20...I really like this one